Absenteeism problems in BPO industry

Cases of absenteeism and sick leave are high among call centre agents in India. In a year, they take 15 days of sick leave against their counterparts in China and the Philippines (11), Thailand (10) , Singapore and Malaysia (8), said an Asia wide study conducted by Sydney-based call-centers net, and supported by etalk and Cisco- System.

However, the study said the contact centre industry is poised for an aggressive growth in the region. During 2007, the sector in the Philippines and Thailand is projected to grow 33%, Singapore and Malaysia will grow at 32%, China 22% and India 16%. The study estimates the total industry seat size in the researched geographies — India, China, Malaysia the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand — to be 576,000 units. The number is projected to increase to 704,500 during 2007, a 23% growth. India is expected to increase its seat base by 40,000 during 2007 from the 270,000 seats at present.

The highlights of the Asian Contact Centre Industry Benchmarking Report 2006 shows that 54% of contact centers in the region have plans to purchase new contact centre technologies during 2007 and 62% are planning to upgrade their existing technologies.

In India, the top contact center technologies expected to be purchased this year are workforce management, electronic records management, IP telephony and call recording systems.

The study found that labor cost accounted for 46% of the total operational budget of call centers in Asia, technology accounts for 23% while telecom infrastructure accounts for 19%. Adding to labor costs are expenses related to the relatively high level of agent turnover, at a regional average of 22%, with India alone having a high of 38% and Thailand a low at 15%.

Of all the agents who left Asian contact centers in 2006, only 38% move to work in another contact center, while the rest left industry for other areas. Callcenter.net interviewed 747 call centers across Asia including 107 in India, where it used a sample base of 15,692 agents.

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